Governor Quinn, Cook County President Preckwinkle and Mayor Emanuel Unveil Nation’s First Data Convergence Cloud, Powered by Socrata

Posted March 21st, 2012

By Bryant Lau

 

For additional press coverage regarding the new Illinois convergence cloud, click here

 

Partners Combine Their Public Data and Launch a Single Online Interface to Serve Constituents Across Jurisdictional Boundaries

CHICAGOMarch 21, 2012 — Governor Pat Quinn, Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle and Mayor Rahm Emanuel today unveiled Socrata-powered MetroChicagoData.com, the nation’s first data convergence cloud that brings public data from the City of Chicago, Cook County and the State of Illinois into a single Open Data portal, for easy access by residents and businesses in the Metro Chicago area.

“We are collaborating with our partners, the City of Chicago and Cook County, to not only break down the barriers between us and increase government transparency, but also to apply the lessons learned in the world of information technology to create new opportunities for entrepreneurship, foster creativity and create jobs,” said Governor Quinn. “Making raw data more easily available to the public in areas such as health care, public safety, economic development and transportation will make government accessible and empower our citizens to develop new software applications to improve government processes.”

This groundbreaking initiative, developed by State, County and City technology staff in partnership with Socrata, connects the three existing Open Data programs at each organization, into a unified, citizen-centric experience. Residents are now able to find, explore and share online resource, across jurisdictional boundaries, using a single web interface, based on common themes, such as healthcare, public safety, housing and education.

Bringing a critical mass of data into a single cloud, with a unified citizen interface and a common data dictionary, further exemplifies all three governments’ commitment to open government and transparency.

“Transparency enables accountability and strengthens public trust,” said Preckwinkle. “MetroChicagoData.com is another step in providing tools to help the public measure outcomes, find services, and see the impact of policies across all three levels of government.”

“This unprecedented initiative will foster innovation, economic development and more efficient delivery of services,” said Mayor Emanuel. “When we break down bureaucracies and our governments work together, we open new doors for our constituents.”

The new, Socrata-powered, Metro Chicago Data Convergence Cloud, offers key design, feature and architecture enhancements, including:

  • State-of-the-art cloud federation services that automatically and seamlessly create a connected data cloud from data.cityofchicago.org, data.cookcountyil.gov and data.illinois.gov, without any duplication or delay.
  • Automatic full-text indexing of every data set’s content, regardless of originating organization, to facilitate a unified online search and discovery experience.
  • Automatic and uniform programmatic access to every data set, via the Socrata Open Data API (SODA), in addition to technical support and online developer resources.
  • A user-centric site design, with normalized categories to promote comprehension and ease of access.

The initial release of Metro Chicago Data organizes datasets using a common taxonomy for categories, which includes Housing and Property, Economic Development, Education, The Environment, Government Administration, Ethics, Health & Human Services, Public Safety, Tax and Revenue, and Transportation.

The site also features the first-ever composite datasets that combine related data from all three partners; Namely:

  • An interactive map explorer for the area’s hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities that are operated by the city, the county, or the state.
  • A common directory of government buildings and facilities in Metro Chicago
  • A data package that includes tax, permits, investment incentives, and regulation data to streamline businesses access to administrative information.

The State of Illinois’ Chief Information Officer Sean Vinck, Cook County Chief Information Officer Greg Wass and Chicago’s Chief Data Officer Brett Goldstein worked in collaboration with Socrata to develop the new site.

About Socrata
Socrata is the leading developer and provider of Open Data cloud services, a category of Web 2.0 solutions that enable public sector organizations to dramatically improve citizen access to information and online services, while reducing costs.

The Socrata Open Data Cloud™ optimizes the management and speeds up the dissemination of data-driven interactive content to citizen, professional and internal government audiences, through multiple interfaces: Web, social, mobile, API, apps, voice, SMS. Information assets include tabular data, geospatial data, unstructured content and real-time data from government transactional systems of record.

Socrata customers include cities such as Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago and New York City; states such as Oregon, Illinois and Oklahoma, and federal agencies such as Medicare, SAMHSA and GSA (Data.gov). Socrata is a private company, based in Seattle, Washington, with venture financing from Frazier Technology Ventures and Morgenthaler Ventures. To learn more about Socrata, visit www.socrata.com.

Contact

Saf Rabah
VP, Marketing
Socrata, Inc.
206.340.8008 ext 151
saf.rabah@socrata.com